French Fashion, Women, and the First World War



This fascinating exploration of French women’s fashion all over World War I is the first in-depth consideration of the role that fashion played in the upheaval of French society between 1914 and 1918. As the fashion industry—the second one largest industry in the country—mobilized to lend a hand the war effort, Parisian couture houses introduced new styles, aggressively disseminated information through magazines, and strengthened their propaganda efforts in a foreign country. Women of all social classes adapted their garments to the wartime way of life, and practicality used to be increasingly more introduced in the form of pockets and “sportswear” textiles like jersey.
Even as women were heralded for contributing to the war effort, the clothes they wore Even as doing so continuously provoked debates, particularly when their attire used to be seen as too masculine or militaristic. With focused studies of wartime garments such as skirt suits, nurse’s uniforms, work overalls, and mourning clothes, this volume brings to life the passionate debates that roiled the French fashion industry and reveals the extent to which fashion used to be a hotly contested topic and a barometer for social tensions right through this tumultuous era.

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